USA - Beijing, China
Our China vacation starts as we board the international flight bound for Beijing, the capital of modern-day China. Spend the night aboard the plane.
Arrive in Beijing. After clearing customs and retrieving our baggage, we are met by our guide and transferred to the luxury hotel for well-deserved rest and relaxation.
After breakfast, our Beijing tour starts with a visit to the Tiananmen Square, the world's largest public square. Later we proceed to Forbidden City*, where for over 500 years commoners were forbidden to enter. The next we roll over to Summer Palace*, the summer home of the emperors and their royal family. Then we stop at the National Grand Theatre and the Qianmen Street. In the evening enjoy a local specialty cuisine dinner.
Built to protect its people from northern marauders, Great Wall* snakes its way thousands of miles across Northern China. This morning we spend time walking atop this man-made wonder of the world and appreciate its imposing wonder. After the Great Wall, our next destination is the Olympic Park where we will make photo stops at some new attractions including “Bird's Nest” National Stadium and “Water Cube” Aquatics Centre. Tonight we indulge our plates with the famed Peking Duck Banquet for dinner.
Beijing -Xian AB,DH
After breakfast we are off to the airport. On the way, stop at the Temple of Heaven* to experience the place of prayer to the emperors. After a short flight, we arrive at Xian, the historic starting point of the famed Silk Road. Xian's history encompasses the entirety of Chinese civilization, a fact that its proud citizens are not remiss to impress upon us. Tonight, enjoy our dinner at hotel.
Xian is home to the life-sized Terracotta Warriors* and Horses of Qin Shi Huang. Made to protect China's first emperor even in death, the Terracotta Army was found by a farmer in 1974 and attracts thousands of visitors each year. After viewing the fine troops, we visit the nearby Mausoleum of Qinshihuang* and then return back to the city limits for a view of the Old City Wall. After an Imperial Dumpling Banquet dinner, we watch a Tang Dynasty Stage Show.
Xian - Shanghai - Hangzhou AB,L,DP
After breakfast, we are transferred to the airport for a short flight bound to Shanghai and board the coach to Hangzhou with a stop at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda* and overlooking the ancient Bell Tower. Hangzhou, China's poets have praised it likening to be a paradise on earth. This evening a local famous cuisine is served for dinner.
Hangzhou -Wuxi AB,L,DP
Our Hangzhou sightseeing tour starts with a scenic cruise* on the famous West Lake, followed by visits to two of the ten most beautiful sites around West Lake, “Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond” and “Winery Yard and Lotus Pool”. Later we head to Wuxi. In the evening, the Wuxi local cuisine with ribs is served for dinner.
Wuxi - Suzhou - Shanghai AB,L,D ,DP
This morning we will visit the beautiful Yuantoudu Park* and Lake Tai, the third largest lake in China. Then we depart for Suzhou, a picturesque city known as the “Venice of the East”. Built around Grand Canal, Suzhou's many excellent classical gardens have entitled Suzhou the “Garden City”. After a Suzhou local cuisine for lunch, our city tour of Suzhou features visits to Lingering Garden* and Hanshan Temple*, overlook the Tiger Hill and pass by the Grand Canal. We then complete the tour in Suzhou and motorcoach to cosmopolitan Shanghai.
Shanghai is China's largest city with a population of over 14 million. This morning after breakfast, a city tour takes us to the City Temple, the bustling Nanjing Road, and the exotic waterfront Bund. We'll also have a chance to over look the Oriental TV Tower. After visiting the Shanghai Museum (no audio service), the remainder of the day is free at leisure to venture into the city on your own.
Shanghai - USA AB
Our vacation is over all too soon as we board the homebound international jetliner and bid a fond farewell to China.
AB=American Breakfast, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner at Local Restaurant, DH=Dinner at Hotel, DP=Dinner Party, DS=Dinner & Show
The capital of the most populous country in the world, the People's Republic of China. With a population of 21.5 million people, it is the nation's second-largest city after Shanghai. It was also the seat of the Ming and Qing dynasty emperors until the formation of a republic in 1911.
Tian'anmen Square (天安門廣場)
Located at the city center, Tian'anmen Square is a must-visit place in Beijing, where you can see the Tian'anmen Tower, Monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, and other remarkable buildings. Thousands of people come to the Square every day.
Forbidden City (故宮)
A palace complex located in centtral Beijing, the Forbidden City was the home of the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties - the years 1420 to 1912, and now houses the Palace Museum. In 1987, it was declared a World Heritage Site, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Summer Palace (頤和園)
A vast ensemble of lakes, bridges, pavilions, gardens and palaces in Beijing. In Qing Dynasty, it was an imperial garden mainly dominated by Wanshou Hill and Kunming Lake.
National Grand Theatre (國家大劇院)
Colloquially described as The Giant Egg, the theatre is an arts centre containing an opera house seating 5,452 people in three halls. Completely surrounded by a man-made lake, it looks like an egg floating on the water.
Qianmen Street (前門大街)
A traditional commercial pedestrian street outside Qianmen Gate, the Street now is an important night life place for locals. It is 840 meters in length and 21 meters in width. composed with buildings in styles resemble the late Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911).
Badaling Great Wall (八達嶺長城)
Badaling, being the best preserved and the most visited section of the Great Wall of China, is a must for your tour in China. Badaling Great Wall was built in the Ming Dynasty (1505) to occupy a commanding and strategic position for protecting the Juyongguan Pass (居庸關) on its south, further protecting the city of Beijing. It has undergone restoration, and in 1957 was the first section of the Great Wall to open to tourists.
Water Cube (水立方)
The National Aquatics Center is colloquially known as the Water Cube (水立方). It was built alongside Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Despite its nickname, the building is not an actual cube, but a cuboid (a rectangular box). The structure was specially designed and had a capacity of 17,000 during the games.
Bird's Nest (鳥巢)
Generally known as the Bird's Nest, the National Stadium is situated in the Olympic Green. It was designed and built as the main stadium of 2008 Summer Olympic Games. It took five years to complete and is one of the largest steel structures in the world.
Temple of Heaven (天壇)
Also a UNESCO World H, Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in central Beijing. It was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynsdties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. Hall of Prayer, the magnificent and largest building in the complex, is completely wooden, with no nails.
Once known as Chang'an in ancient times, Xian is more than 3,000 years old. it marks the Silk Road's eastern end and for 1,000 years was the capital for 13 dynasties. Today, Xian is worth visiting for its abundant historical ruins, museums, and cultural relics.
Terracotta Warriors of Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇兵馬俑)
A collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Buried with the emperor in 210-209 BCE, the purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. The figures including warriors, chariots and horses were discovered in 1974 by local farmers. A museum complex has since been constructed over the area, with the largest pit enclosed within with a large structure.
Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇陵)
Located 25 miles to the city center of Xian, Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang was constructed over 38 years, from 246-208 BC, and is situated under neath a 76-meter-tall tomb mound shaped like a truncated pyramid surrounded by various sites of the extensive necropolis, including the Terracitta Warriors. The mausoleum including the Terracotta Warriors, are listed as World Heritage Sites.
Ancient City Wall (古城牆)
It is also known as the Ming Dynasty City Wall that surrounds the city of Xian. The City Wall is well-preserved and was re-constructed in the 14th century during the early Ming Dynasty.
Imperial Dumpling Banquet (餃子宴)
Dumpling is a famous type of traditional food in China. The Xian Imperial Dumpling Banquet is well-known for a dazzling variety of fillings and flavors including vegetables, meat, seafood.
Tang Dynasty Stage Show (唐樂宮歌舞)
A pride of the city. Hosted at the "Tang Dynasty Palace", a leading entertainment theatre in Xian, this legendary venure offers visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy the fabulous performance of Tang Dynasty dance and music.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda (大雁塔)
This spectacular Buddhist pagoda was built originally in 652 during Tang Dynasty to hold Buddhist writings and figurines that were brought to China from India by Buddhist Xuanzang. Today it is one of the most important historical landmarks of Xian.
Bell Tower (古鐘樓)
Built in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty and located at the city's central axis together with Drum Tower, Bell Tower is a symbol of Xian and one of the grandest of its kind in China, containing several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang Dynasty.
Described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of mainland China, Shanghai is China's largest city renowned for its skyline, museums and historic buildings such as those along The Bund, as well as the City God Temple and the nearby Yu Garden.
City God Temple (城隍廟)
Located in the old city of Shanghai, this famous temple is dedicated to three gods as the protectors of the city. Its surrounding area and vicinity is a large commercial district that hosts an array of shops, restaurants, teahouses, as well as the exciting temple fair events.
Yu Garden (豫園)
Laid out in the Suzhou style and located beside the City God Temple, Yu Garden is an extensive Chinese garden first built in 1559 by a retired governmor as a comfort for his parent in his old age. It was the largest and most prestigious of its era in Shanghai.
Nanjing Road (南京路)
The busiest shopping street of Shanghai, Nanjing Road comprises two sections, Nanjing Road East and Nanjing Road West. Here stands most of Shangghai's oldest and largest department stores, as well as a variety of domestic retail outlets, and some traditional eateries with a long history.
The Bund (外灘)
A waterfront area in central Shanghai, The Bund stretches one mile along the bank of the Huangpu River on the section of Zhongshan Road within the former Shanghai International Settlement. It is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai, stands some 52 buildings of various Western classical and modern styles.
Shanghai Museum (上海博物館)
Shanghai Museum, located on the People's Square, is a museum of ancient Chinese art, has a collections of over 120,000 historical artifacts, including Chinese bronzes, ceramics, calligraphy, furniture, jades, and paintings.
Situated at the southern end of China's Grand Canal, Hangzhou has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium. Praised as "Heaven on Earth", it is also one of the most important tourist cities in China, famous for its natural beauty and cultural heritages.
West Lake (西湖)
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the best-known attraction of Hangzhou. Celebrated by poets and artists since the 9th century, it is renowned for islands, temples, pavilionss, gardens, and arched bridhes. Two of the ten most beautiful sites around the Lake that are usually visited in our itinerary are "Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond" (花港觀魚), and "Winery Yard and Lotus Pool" (曲院風荷).
Wuxi is a major tourist city in the Lower Yangtze Delta. Along with nearby city Suzhou, Wuxi is a popular destination for visitors to Shanghai. With fertile soil and rich produce, the city is famous as the "land teeming with fish and rice" (魚米之鄉) in China, enjoying the most scenic part of Lake Tai (Taihu).
Lake Tai (太湖)
With a water surface of 2,400 square kilometers, Lake Tai is the third largest fresh water lake in China, after Poyang and Dongting, with many scenic spots, famous for its fish and freshwater pearls. The lake houses about 90 islands, ranging in size from a few square meters to several square kilometers.
Yuantoudu Park (黿頭渚公園)
Yuantoudu, the Islet of Turtlehead, is actually a peninsula stretching into Lake Tai like the head of a turtle, hence the name. It was established as a park in 1916 and celebrated its centennial in 2016. The park now is famous for its tourism especially during the spring season when cherry blossoms are blooming.
Grand Canal (大運河)
Running 1,800 km long from Beijing to Hangzhou, the Suzhou Grand Canal has been the golden waterway for thousands of years and prospered the sconomy of Suzhou Area. It crosses the city center of Suzhou and has being listed in UNESCO World's Heritage Sites since 2014.
Tiger Hill (虎丘)
Home to the brick 7-story, leaning pagoda at its summit, the ancient poet Su Dongpo described about this popular attraction, "to visit Suzhou and not see Tiger Hill would lead to a lifetyime of regret."
Hanshan Temple (寒山寺)
Established in the Liang Dynasty (502-557 AD), Hanshan Temple is one of the ten great temples in China. Originally made famous by Zhang Ji's poem "Mooring for the Night at Maple Bridge (楓橋夜泊)", the buddhist temple's 108-bell-ringing ceremony has become an annual New Year's Eve tradition for locals and visitors.
Lingering Garden (留園)
One of the largest and most important classical gardens in Suzhou and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, featuring ornate viewing pavilions and the Crown of Clouds Peak, a striking limestone rockery.